The Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2012 speakers were incredibly inspiring. Since beginning my tour of the blog conference circuit in 2008, I have heard a bunch of social media experts talk about monetizing websites, blogging for book deals, SEO, increasing one’s reach, perfecting the pitch.

But rarely do I hear speakers tap into the personal value bloggers gain from this relatively new industry. As a mom blogger, it is not really about the money (although payment for hard work is, um, nice). If I were motivated solely by the biggest paycheck possible I would call a recruiter and a nanny and work full time, on-site, outside the home. However, this gig is not just a hobby, a flash-in-the-pan diversion, a way to obtain affirmation beyond my skills with the PB&J.

I guess I’m somewhere between the briefcase and the PB&J.

The reason why I blog and work in social media on a professional level is because this medium provides a beautiful intersection of my priorities and goals. It works for my family and my essentials. It lends me the freedom to pursue a career on my terms, writing and interacting with members of my local and social media communities, while still functioning as a stay-at-home parent (a choice/sacrifice/manual labor position that I love).

The speakers at the conference spoke to this individual pursuit of happiness + goals. They got it. Some of the speakers, namely Amy Jo Martin of Digital Royalty and Peter Shankman of Vocus/HARO, gave me such profound “A-ha!” moments that I not only tweeted their gems, I created those images above of their quotes to post on my office bulletin board as reminders of why I do this.

The Disney Social Media Moms Celebration attendees and I were also treated to the humor of comedian Maryellen Hooper, a special welcome by the President of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations Meg Crofton, and a whole lot of #RamonWOW examples of how to create fans in social media by Ramon DeLeon of Domino’s Pizza. Lisa Druxman, the founder of Stroller Strides, shared her personal story of how she conquered her fears and found success.

Chris Brogan and Kimberley Blaine offered a good deal of specific, expert knowledge on making an impact in social media through writing (Brogan) and video (Blaine). Gary Buchanan of Disney Parks Sodial Media Team made us laugh as he battled Darth Vader with a light saber, and Amy Foster of Disney Parks Consumer Insights made us cry as she spoke about creating beautiful memories during our kids’ fleeting childhoods.

There was even a hilarious video greeting from Katie Couric, in which she recalled taking her children to Disney World for a vacation for an enormous amount of fun (and her daughter ate an enormous amount of churros):

In short, the speaker line-up at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration was fabulous. I took away insight into finding purpose and excitement and peace in how I choose to spend my time, both on the clock helping to support my family, and during my real life with them.

When was the last time you had an experience that invigorated your career and personal life? Please share!


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